Jeffrey Wanzer Dupra
I was born in upstate New York, the oldest of three children. My parents both taught elementary school, and it was from them that I inherited a love of reading and writing, a curiosity to learn, and a passion for a good story. I spent summers in the Adirondack Park where I climbed, swam, explored and discovered the spirit of the natural world.
Like a lot of kids coming of age in a public school, saddled with the weight and specificity of socio-economic expectations, the heredity of class and culture, I broke free, rebelled- mostly against myself- and scrapped the storyline that I thought was mine to bear out. I wrote with a fever and a necessity that I have never duplicated; like I was explaining and escaping the pain simultaneously. When I was twenty years old I got a guitar for my birthday and like many before me hatched a rock star dream before I could even strum a chord.
I spent the next eighteen years finding and creating a voice, writing, exhausting, creating and forgetting songs and stories. I am still happily engaged in the art- the work- of song and story, words and music.
I have in that time intermittently performed and shared words and music, at times seemingly with momentum and an audience, and at others definitively without either. I have always been clear that it was more important to preserve the integrity and sanctity of the creative process than to perform for the sake of performance, for ego, for attention, or in the absence of something to say. On one hand it matters to me that music- like anything- be approached in a greater context than self-interest, and with some humility; not much annoys me like a guy with a guitar who thinks he is saving the world. There are a lot of them, women too, with guitars and voices, many much better than mine, all too eager to say something to anyone who will listen.
While I still feel much the same I have come to recognize something personally powerful and meaningful about myself: I like to do this. I enjoy the power of a good story to evoke meaning beyond time and circumstance. The strength and wisdom of our shared humanity seems best shared and passed on with a song and a story. Before I go I want to share my songs and stories with more people than I have, because I think they may well have something meaningful to say, but more, and as well, because they are but reminders of the good things, the lessons, the observations, the experiences- the stories- that others have shared with me.